Four years ago a devastating earthquake and tsunami destroyed 250,000 homes in the Tohoku region of Japan. In the wake of the tragedy, architect Toyo Ito established Home-for-All, an initiative to build small community centers in the heart of the acres of temporary housing. Funded by donations from around the world, for the last 4 years architects have worked pro bono to build a total of 12 Home-for-All buildings, instilling a sense of pride in the hard-hit areas of Tohoku.
As the children cannot play outside, we felt the building should feel like you are playing in a forest with trees
The latest project to be completed is Home-for-All in Soma, a beautiful, wooden indoor playground for kids designed by Tokyo-based Klein-Dytham Architecture. “As the children cannot play outside, we felt the building should feel like you are playing in a forest with trees,” said the architects, who designed cross-laminated timber columns that create an open, airy space.
Due to ongoing concerns about background radiation levels, the space was conceived as a large straw hat held aloft by trees.
“Our project was handed over to the local community a few weeks ago on 14th February,” said Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham, “with much love on Valentine’s day. Today it is open and playing an active part in the community.”